by Zhou Xiaotian
MILAN, Italy, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Italian cities from North to South got into the spirit of Chinese New Year this weekend, with traditional cultural performances, Chinese cuisine, and landmarks and streets lit up in the auspicious color red.
In Milan, a Chinese New Year animation was played on a large screen in Piazza San Babila on Saturday, the Chinese New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, in Turin, the Mole Antonelliana landmark was lit up with the lucky color red and the Chinese character of "Fu" -- which also means good luck.
On Sunday, Chinese New Year's Day, Chinese and Italian artists presented cultural performances near Milan's Arco Della Pace. These included Lion and Dragon dance, Tai Chi, Chinese opera, and classic Chinese dance.
The street of Paolo Sarpi, one of the biggest China Towns in Europe, was decorated with red lanterns and Chinese dragons, and locals flooded in to taste Chinese cuisine and street food.
"I know the lanterns and dragons are celebrating Chinese New Year and it's the Year of the Rabbit," a young Italian girl said, while buying a Chinese pancake.
"I have a lot of Chinese friends and I often ask them about Chinese culture," another Italian girl said, holding a Baozi, a yeast-leavened filled bun.
At the Confucius Institute of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, teachers decorated classrooms and conference rooms with the color red, and prepared cultural activities and performances, including poetry recitations.
"It was my first time celebrating Chinese New Year in a foreign country, but I can still feel the strong atmosphere of the festival in various activities," said Xu Qiruo, a junior student and volunteer teacher at the institute. ■